Misfit Jam

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

As Yukon Cornelius says in that seasonal DVD Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, it wasn’t a fit night out for man, woman, nor beast. (I am paraphrasing, of course...) Still and yet, Susan, Bob Mc, Mark, Ellen, and Bobby Van braved the rain and fog and deer (not red-nosed, which would make them way easier to see at night!) to come jam. And a good time was had!

The quote of the night is from Mark. We were fixing to play “John Hardy,” and he was going to kick it off, so I told him to play it through twice. So what did he do? He played it through once and passed it to Bob Mc. Which completely threw Bob off stride and we ground to a halt. Train wreck! So what did Mark have to say? “In my head, I played it twice!” Priceless! (And to be completely fair, it wasn’t really Mark’s fault that Bob missed his entrance, even though Mark graciously took the heat. In a jam, you’ve got to be ready at all times to take the lead. What if somebody breaks a string? The song must go on!
Other numbers we did:

Cripple Creek

I Saw The Light

Foggy Mountain Breakdown

I’ll Fly Away

Sally Goodwin (played by Susan, who did an excellent job)

Mary Dear (sung by Bobby—same chord progression as Blue Ridge Cabin Home)

Lonesome Road Blues

I’ll have to commend Bobby on “Mary Dear.” The last time we did it, he ended the song before two of the players got to take breaks. That always makes me so uncomfortable when anyone gets left out break-wise, probably because I hate it so much when I get left out! So I had jumped on his case about that...I mean I gently explained that perhaps there was another way he could have done it. And by golly, tonight he kept singing verse after verse until everybody had taken a break.

Then I explained to everybody that when a song is that long and that slow, one way to handle the break situation is to split the breaks, with one person taking the first half and the next person taking the second half. I always like doing that because there is usually a little spark of connection between the two people making the trade off. Both people have to be alert and aware that this break splitting can happen. It’s just one of those cool bluegrass moves. Just one more reason to love this great music!